The James Beard Foundation named 16 Bay Area chefs and restaurants as James Beard Award semifinalists this morning. The prestigious culinary organization honored 11 chefs and restaurants in San Francisco, four in the East Bay and one in the South Bay.
Semifinalists in the category of Best Chef: California include:
- Val M. Cantú of Californios (San Francisco)
- Pim Techamuanvivit of Kin Khao (San Francisco)
- Robbie Wilson of Le Fantastique (San Francisco)
- Intu-on Kornnawong of Jo's Modern Thai (Oakland)
- James Syhabout of Commis (Oakland)
- Akira Yoshizumi of Sushi Yoshizumi (San Mateo)
In the Outstanding Chef category, the foundation named David Nayfeld of Cal-Italian restaurant Che Fico, located in San Francisco's Alamo Square.
The Outstanding Restaurant category included downtown SF Moroccan mainstay Mourad.
Yuka Ioroi and Kris Toliao of Cassava are up for the Outstanding Restaurateur Award. The modern Californian eatery moved from the Outer Richmond to North Beach last October.
Modern Russian eatery Birch & Rye in Noe Valley is among the semifinalists for Best New Restaurant.
Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop in San Francisco is a semifinalist for Outstanding Bakery, while chef Vince Bugtong of craft cocktail bar Viridian in Uptown Oakland is in the running for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker.
In the beverage categories, San Francisco's Lazy Bear was named as a semifinalist in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages category. Trick Dog made the short list of Outstanding Bars.
Marina grand dame the House of Prime Rib is a semifinalist for Outstanding Hospitality.
Finally, the foundation named chefs Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino of Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley as semifinalists in the Emerging Chef category.
The James Beard Foundation will announce nominees on March 29. The award ceremony takes place on June 5 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.
Sarah Holtz can be reached at [email protected]